The focus and goal of this new Basic HIV and HIV/AIDS-related Diseases Science Training Program for Uganda (or BHSTP) is to meet the basic and translational science shortcomings in the Ugandan scientific community in regards to research questions specific to the HIV, HIV-associated diseases such malignancies, opportunistic infections (e.g. tuberculosis or TB), and cardiovascular disease in Uganda. This will be achieved through longstanding collaborations between Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Makerere University and the Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC). The overall goal of this training program is to build long-term, sustainable laboratory-based research capacity in Uganda by educating and promoting independent basic/translational scientists. The following aims are proposed: 1. To strengthen Ugandan biomedical research capacity at the faculty level by supporting PhD level training in microbiology and immunology at CWRU of talented young Ugandan scientists who have completed Masters level training in Uganda. 2. To strengthen graduate education in biomedical sciences in Uganda by supporting Masters level training in the Department of Microbiology at Makerere University. 3. To establish regional expertise on HIV and HIV-related diseases by building on the infrastructure and ongoing research of the Uganda-CWRU Research Collaboration. 4. To develop a culture of mentoring of young and developing laboratory scientists through the Uganda Society of Health Scientists. 5. To continue close collaborations between this BHSTP and the clinical laboratories at the JCRC and Makerere University in order to provide the most advanced facilities for molecular, cellular, and biochemical research in Uganda. To address the specific aims of this proposal, we propose a coherent, multi-disciplinary program of education and training in degree and non-degree experiences at CWRU and in Uganda, that addresses the changing circumstances imposed by the HIV epidemic and that builds on 20+ years of training and human capacity development in Uganda through the ending AITRP program. The proposed program is balanced with Masters level training in Uganda and Ph.D. training at CWRU. In order to advance the Masters programs in Medical Microbiology at Makerere, 2 state-of-the-art courses will be offered (years 1, 2, 4, 5) in Uganda on HIV-1 and AIDS-related diseases focused on latest innovations in basic science and technology. Nondegree training will include a mix of short and long-term training experiences. We will develop a monthly seminar that explores the role of mentoring in the biomedical sciences. These in-country activities will be coordinated through the Ugandan Society for Health Scientists. Research training in this program will be linked to and build upon the extensive infrastructure and portfolio in HIV, malignancies, cardiovascular disease, and TB research of the Uganda-CWRU Research Collaboration.
The expansion of basic/translational research on HIV/AIDS in Uganda has been exponential in the past ten years. However, training and educating Ugandans has focused on HIV/AIDS disciplines related to health care expansion, treatment, and epidemiology. This training grant will now direct efforts in expanding the pool of outstanding Uganda scientists in the basic/translational areas of HIV, TB and AIDS research by supporting PhD and MSc studies at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda (respectively).